Maritime Lien

Definition - What does Maritime Lien mean?

A maritime lien grants a person who has provided services (called "necessaries") – on or to a ship, or other form of sea-going property – a claim on that property in the event that the person is not paid for their services.

The definition of maritime lien for purposes of American federal law is provided in Title 46, United States Code, Section 31342.

Justipedia explains Maritime Lien

In its most dramatic form, a maritime lien allows a sailor to demand that the ship that the sailor worked on be sold and the profits shared with the sailor if the ship’s owner fails to pay the sailor.

The concept of a maritime lien originates in old English common law, when ship owners were notorious for promising riches and adventure to entice poor people to work on their ships. When these ventures failed, sailors were often left destitute. So, maritime liens developed to help sailors be paid for their services.

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